The Ethics of the Neighbor
The papers collected in this special issue began as presentations at the First Annual Natalie Limonick Conference on Jewish Civilization, which was convened by Kenneth Reinhard at the UCLA Center for Jewish Studies in May 2004 and was devoted to the theme “The Ethics of the Neighbor.” This conference was the culmination of a year-long Mellon Sawyer seminar at UCLA on the same theme. The conference took up the concept of the neighbor arising from the biblical injunction to “love the neighbor as yourself” (Lev. 19:18) in order to explore both its underpinnings in Jewish, Christian, and Islamic textual traditions and its potential to inform our understanding of social relations and political life. Core questions motivating this inquiry included: Who counts as my “neighbor”? How is love-of-the-neighbor related to the parallel injunction to “love the stranger,” and how is each represented in the Abrahamic religions? What is implied by “love” in the Levitical injunction? The fact that the category of the neighbor evokes everyday interactions, yet does not easily square with those relationships (to family members, kinsmen, fellow citizens, foreigners) that are typically viewed as constitutive by political and social theory, means that it can be a locus for theorizing an ethics or politics apart from classically conceived individual moral obligations or political structures.
The Ethics of the Neighbor: Universalism, Particularism, and Exceptionalism
Kenneth M. Reinhard
Faces in the Textual Neighborhood: Two Poles and a Lithuanian
Adam Zachary Newton